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MPS workers allowed to move from Milwaukee

MPS workers allowed to move from Milwaukee

By James Kust and Nick Montes. CREATED Jul 11, 2013 - UPDATED: Jul 12, 2013
MILWAUKEE -- Thousands of Milwaukee Public School teachers and employees are now free to go or stay in the city.

They all got a letter Thursday explaining the end of the residency requirement.

Teachers and MPS workers once faced disciplinary action if they failed to live in the city, but not anymore. A letter from Superintendent Gregory Thornton says the new state law means the old rule can no longer be enforced.

Joe Gorecki is enjoying a night of summer softball. For 16 years he was required to live in Milwaukee while working for MPS. Will the new law change his plans?

"No, It doesn't change a thing. I love Milwaukee, it's a great city," said Gorecki.

But on the TODAY'S TMJ4 Facebook page Rachelle wrote: "I'm an MPS teacher, and agree we should able to choose where we live." But, Rachelle added, she doesn't plan to move

Tong said, "Doesn't matter where u live as long as u can teach!!!!!"

Governor Walker pushed for the new law that lifts residency requirements for public employees. It went into effect last week.

Even though teachers are now free to choose, Milwaukee's Mayor says city employees, like police and fire, are not; despite the new law.

"It doesn't not weaken our argument at all," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Mayor Barrett believes a home rule provision in the state constitution trumps the new law for city employees. As for the teachers, he wants them to stay but he can't force them to live here.

"We are going to redouble our efforts to have attractive housing for existing teachers but new teachers and other personnel at Milwaukee Public Schools," said Barrett.

Superintendent Thornton was not available for comment.